For power and range of imagination, for freshness and vividness of conception, for truth and originality of presentation, few Roman poets can compare with him when he is at his best.
Minute details and traits of character are portrayed with a vividness which bears all the marks of contemporary narrative.
The peculiar art therein is that while the discords owe their intelligibility and softness to the smooth melodic lines by which in " resolving " they prove themselves but transient rainbow-hues on or below the surface, they owe their strangeness to the intense vividness with which at the moment of impact they suggest a mysteriously remote foreign key.
Wagner's orthodox contemporaries regarded such mixtures of key as sheer nonsense; and it would seem that the rank and file of his imitators agree with that view, since they either plagiarize Wagner's actual progressions or else produce such mixtures with no vividness of key-colour and little attempt to follow those melodic trains of thought by which Wagner makes sense of them.
Is remarkable that in more than one passage of his poem Lucretius writes with extraordinary vividness of the impression produced both by dreams and by waking visions.
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